International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has recently issued the 2020 report of the Global Rights Index. Covering an analysis of violations against workers’ and unions’ rights, the report lists Turkey among Bangladesh, Brazil, Philippines, India, Honduras, Kazakhstan, Colombia, Egypt, and Zimbabwe as one of the worst 10 countries for workers out of 144.
The chairperson of the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DİSK) Arzu Çerkezoğlu made statements for soL News on the report and how Turkey’s ruling AKP has oppressed workers and unions amid coronavirus pandemic.
Stating that the statistics for the violations of rights committed between April 2019-2020 were the worst ones over the last 7 years, Çerkezoğlu said, “Governments and bosses are violating workers’ rights. The most important violations are against the rights to strike, collective bargaining, and establishing trade unions. The government has transformed the mechanism of labor courts to the detriment of workers. Governments are not enforcing laws, breaking their promises to the people, and bosses are taking advantage of it, breaking the contracts that they signed.”
Pointing out the restriction of freedoms due to coronavirus pandemic, Çerkezoğlu further said that bosses are taking advantage of this and preventing unions from seeking their rights. “COVID-19 is not just a disease, it also causes an economic and democratic crisis. The global economic system is collapsing. The world is becoming unlivable for workers. We must establish a new one. We need an equalitarian social contract,” she said.
Arguing that the report makes a mention of unsecured worker rights, workers laid off due to being a union member, arrestments, trials and government’s hostile attitude towards unions unaffiliated with bosses, Çerkezoğlu underlines, “The report also tells the resistance of our fellow workers who were threatened, laid off, arrested and killed, and we are part of that working-class resistance in Turkey.” International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has issued the 2020 report of the Global Rights Index. The Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DİSK) chair Arzu Çerkezoğlu commented on the report for soL News.